After 30 years the 1977 film The Cayman Triangle is given a new lease of life.
The Cayman Triangle, a film shot in Cayman in 1977, has been re-released in a special edition 30th anniversary collector’s edition.
The one-hour film features local actors, many of whom have gone on to become leaders in Cayman’s business community, including Brian Uzzell, Cayman Free Press publisher, principal architect at Chalmers Gibbs Architects, Arek Joseph, publisher of the Cayman Net News Desmond Seales and Durty Reid’s Palace owner Reid Dennis. Others are famed Black Coral sculptor Bernard K. Passman and musician George Novak, aka Barefoot Man.
With the storyline inspired by the Bermuda Triangle, the action packed adventure features swashbuckling pirate Durty Reid – played by Reid Dennis – who is dispatched by the military to investigate the mysterious disappearance of eight ships.
The slapstick style movie has a feel similar to that of the popular Carry On films. It also features celebrity impersonations and movie takeoffs.
The one and only effort of Heffalump Productions, the film is shot at many of Cayman’s historical landmarks, including the Legislative Assembly and Pedro Castle.
Although The Cayman Triangle never won any Academy Awards, it does give viewers a fascinating glimpse into the way Cayman used to look some thirty years ago before sprawling condo developments, bumper to bumper traffic and fast food outlets.
The film has been re-released by Scott McTaggart, manager of Blockbuster Video, after he purchased the film’s rights in early 2006 from director, producer and writer Anderson Humphreys.
He managed to obtain a couple of VHS copies, and sent them to a company in Atlanta, US, to have the film re-formatted onto DVD.
‘It was a struggle finding copies. Even Anderson Humphries did not have one,’ he said.
The special addition features behind the scenes extras, including a slide show, as well as video footage of the Barefoot Man and Andy Martins in the studio re-recording one of the original songs. An additional DVD also features the four musical tracks from the film.
Asked why he decided to mass market the film, Mr. McTaggart said it was a matter of prosperity and a part of Cayman’s history.
‘I wanted to do it to prevent the movie from dying out. It was something that I felt should be preserved and thought it would be a neat idea.
‘The film features many locals who are still on island today. It’s something their friends and family have probably not had the opportunity to watch until now,’ he added.
Arek Joseph, who played the Arab, Sir Neville Scott and helped write the script, said the Cayman Triangle was very much an event appropriate to the times.
‘We lived in a much lighter and happier time then,’ the architect, who has also starred as an extra in the 1993 blockbuster film The Firm, said.
‘There wasn’t any radio or TV and there was just a weekly paper. Cayman was a very young island and we were all young. It was fun at the time, there was more time to enjoy ourselves and everything just fell together.
‘It would be something I would do again, but it wouldn’t be so easy. Time isn’t so readily available.’
Reminiscing over his first and last foray into the world of movies, Brian Uzzell, who starred as the hunchback, said filming the Cayman Triangle was a laugh.
‘It seemed like a good idea at the time. I was coaxed by the film’s director Anderson Humphreys and screen tested for the part of Fluffy, a gay pirate.
‘Once I explored the part more, and because Cayman was such a small society back then, I diplomatically decided I couldn’t do it, so was offered the part of the hunchback instead.
‘Filming was fun and took about three to four months. It was a much closer knit society back then, although relations did become strained with wives and girlfriends at times when we had to re-shoot scenes,’ he said.
Asked whether he would ever consider returning to the world of movie making, Mr. Uzzell added. ‘No, I think my acting days are best left in the past. I got given a copy of the special edition, but it’s still in the box. I think that’s where it will be staying.’
Barefoot Man, who played the jester and also wrote and performed the theme song, The Ballad of Durty Reid, has fond memories of the film.
‘There was very little entertainment on the island, there really wasn’t anything going on, just a handful of bars and restaurants, so to have the opportunity to star in this film was really exciting,’ Barefoot said.
‘At the time we were big fish in a little pond. I think for the few months it took for the movie to be filmed we all felt like stars. It was something none of us had ever experienced before.
‘To most of us we were all just having a good time and keeping ourselves entertained on an island where there really wasn’t anything else to do
‘You have to picture Cayman back then, it was a different time,’ he said.
‘I would definitely do it again, but the mood of the islands could never be re-captured and that’s what made the film so special.’
The collector’s edition, priced at $19.95, is available for sale at Blockbuster video, Kirk’s Supermarket and at Fosters Foodfair outlets.